UK homes to require electronic log books

Homeowners may have to publish electronic log books detailing all maintenance work.

Under industry plans recently revealed, sellers may be required to set out all improvements and work done to their property prior to it being put on the market.

Likened to a car’s log book, the proposals have been released by the trade body for the conveyancing industry and will provide potential buyers and insurers with a full-service history.

Commenting on the proposals was Bill Shipton, the managing director of Bold & Reeves property maintenance experts. He welcomed the industry-wide adoption of a service which was currently offered by his company.

He stated: “People continue to service their cars regularly, whilst neglecting the more significant investment of their homes. The electronic log book is a crucial tool in making it easy for homeowners to stay on top of all the fixes, large and small. It gives them and potential buyers peace of mind that the property is being properly run.”

The portal will be interactive and will assist homeowners in managing home improvements and maintenance work. Relevant documents such as gas safety certificates, leases and surveys can be uploaded, invoices catalogues and issues reported.

He went on to state: “We are really pleased that after four-and-a-half years of educating the market, the conveyancing industry now acknowledges the benefits electronic log books bring. Homeowners can see at a glance if any maintenance is overdue, while buyers can see if the property they are buying has been well looked after.”

His comments came soon after the proposals were published by the Conveyancing Association, which include a substantial collection of information in E-reports prior to the property being put up for sale.

Commissioned by Bold & Reeves, YouGov research indicated that 88% of buyers feel that it is important that the home which they plan to buy is properly maintained at the point of sale.

The high cost of moving, stamp duty increases and stress commonly associated with moving has meant that many opt for improving their home as opposed to relocating. The YouGov data indicated the 63% of homeowners in the UK believe that there is more value in home improvement than in moving.

44% of people would choose to invest in maintaining their current property; more than double the 17% of people who would prefer to purchase something new.

Despite these figures, following the slowdown in the housing market, only 28% are putting more into their property, with 49% spending the same amount on home improvements in comparison their spending five years ago.   The most commonly mentioned obstacle is the lack of funds available (47%), with the second most cited reason being a lack of trusted contractors (26%).

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